Punjab Government issues guidelines for phased reopening for unlock 2 from July 1 to July 30.

Chandigarh, June 30: Punjab Government today issued guidelines for phased reopening for ‘Unlock 2’ from 01.07.2020 to 30.07.2020 and decided to reopen more activities in a calibrated manner in areas outside the containment zones.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Punjab Government has said that under these detailed guidelines the state Government has allowed the district authorities to impose such restrictions as deemed necessary in areas outside the containment zones. However, there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements, he added.

He further informed that schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions would remain closed till 31st July 2020. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and be encouraged. Training institutions of the central and state governments would be allowed to function from 15th July for which standard operating procedures (SOP) would be issued by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), Government of India.

He added that activities which would be prohibited including metro rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places. He further added that International air travel of passengers would also be prohibited, except as permitted by MHA. Apart from this, social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions and other large congregations would also remain prohibited. All other activities shall be permitted in areas outside containment zones.

The spokesperson further revealed that lockdown shall continue to remain in force in containment zones till 31st July 2020 and such zones would be demarcated by the district authorities as per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW). Only essential activities shall be permitted in the containment zones. The district authorities may accordingly take requisite action in containment and buffer zones as per guidelines of MoHFW, and the Punjab Health & Family Welfare department.

He stated that movement of individuals for all the non-essential activities would remain prohibited between 10.00 pm to 5.00 am throughout the State. However, essential activities including operation of multiple shifts, movement of persons and goods on National and State Highways and unloading of cargo and travel of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and aeroplanes would be permitted. The district authorities are accordingly directed to issue prohibitory orders u/s 144 of Cr.PC and ensure strict compliance, he added.

In addition, movement by passenger trains and Shramik special trains, domestic air travel, movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad, evacuation of foreign nationals and sign–on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued. Elaborating more he said that persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidity, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home except for essential requirements and for health purposes.

Divulging further, the spokesperson added that number of guests not to exceed 50 in marriage related gatherings and number of persons not to exceed 20 in funeral/last rites. Spitting in public places is completely prohibited and punishable with fine. Consumption of liquor, pan, gutka, tobacco etc. in public places is prohibited. However, there will be no restriction on their sale.

He disclosed that places of worship/religious places shall remain open only between 5 am to 8 pm. The maximum number of persons at the time of worship shall not exceed 20 with due distancing and therefore, the worship time should be staggered accordingly. The managements of these places shall make adequate arrangements to ensure hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing of masks. Langar and Prasad are being allowed. SOP for religious places would be followed accordingly.

Likewise, restaurants were allowed to open till 9 pm with 50% occupancy or 50 guests, whichever is less. Liquor can be served provided the restaurant has a valid permission from the Excise Department. However, bars shall remain closed. The management would comply with the SoPs.

He further added that restaurants in hotels were allowed to serve food including buffet meals up to 50% of their seating capacity or 50 guests, whichever is less. These restaurants would also be open to persons other than hotel guests but the timings, for both the hotel guests as well as persons from outside would be till 9 pm. The bars shall remain closed. However, liquor can be served in the rooms and restaurants, as permitted under the excise policy of the State.

The spokesperson further said that night curfew shall strictly be enforced and movement of individuals shall only be permissible from 5 am to 10 pm. The guests would be allowed to enter and leave the hotel premises between 10 pm to 5 am based on their schedule of travel by flight/train. “The air/train ticket and hotel booking would serve as a curfew pass for one-time movement of these guests to and from the hotel during the curfew hours from 10 pm to 5 am, he added.

He informed that marriages other social functions and ‘Open-Air’ parties in banquet halls, marriage palaces, hotels and open venues can be organised up to 50 persons. The number of guests exclusive of catering staff would not exceed 50 persons. The size of Banquet Hall and venue for 50 persons shall at least be 5,000 sq. feet based on requirement of 10′ x10′ area for a person for the purpose of maintenance of adequate social distancing. The Bars shall, continue to remain closed. However liquor could be served in the function as per the Excise Policy of the State. SOPs for hotels and other hospitality units would be followed strictly.

He added that all the shopping malls and shops including shops in main bazaars in both urban and rural areas allowed to open between 7.00 am to 8.00 pm. Liquor vends shall however remain open from 8 am to 9 pm. However, for shops situated in main bazars, market complexes and rehri markets and other crowed places, district authorities could exercise their discretion and in order to avoid crowding shall stagger the opening of shops. Barber shops, hair-cut saloons, beauty parlours and spas would be allowed from 7 am to 8 pm subject to compliance of the SOPs as issued by the Punjab Health Department.

The spokesperson further added that shops dealing with essential commodities would be allowed to remain open till 8 pm on all days. Restaurants and liquor vends would continue to remain open till 9 pm on all days. On Sundays, shops (other than those dealing in essential commodities) and shopping malls shall remain closed. Sports complexes, stadia and public parks would be allowed to open between 7 am to 8 pm without spectators as per the SOPs of the state health department. Industries & industrial establishments, construction activities etc. were being allowed. Inter-state and intra-state movement of buses would be allowed without any restriction and transport vehicles could utilise the entire seating capacity, he added.

Elaborating more he added that no separate permission would be required by the industries and other establishments for their operations. All employees would be allowed without any requirement of pass during the permitted hours as mentioned in the above paragraphs for various establishments. There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods and no separate permission/approval/permit would be required for such movement. Use of Cova-App and self-generated pass would be mandatory for inter-state passengers.

Ensuring to maintain social distancing he added that minimum 6 feet distance (do gaz ki duri) for all the activities shall always be maintained. Accordingly, if any permitted activity leads to crowding and congestion, then necessary steps in terms of staggering, rotation, timings of offices and establishments etc. be taken and it be ensured that principles of social distancing are not compromised. Wearing of masks by all persons in public places, including work places etc. would be mandatory and must be strictly observed and enforced.

The state government has advised employees to ensure that Arogaya Setu app should be installed by all. Similarly, individuals were also to be advised by the district authorities to install this application and also regularly update their health status on the app. Any violation of these guidelines and lockdown measures shall be punishable under sections 51 to 60 of the disaster management act, 2005 besides legal action under section 188 of Indian penal code (IPC)

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